A real rock girl: Martina Demmel

Interview with the German climber

16 January 2021
Itw with Martina Demmel, the nineteen years old climber from Germany.

We spoke about her few months ago, talking about her great ascents in Frankenjura. During the strange 2020, she has climbed a big amount of hard routes, 8a or harder: more than two hundred. Between those ascents, a lot of them are onsight. In the Olympic year, this sounds really strange from such a young climber! During her first IFSC Lead World Cup, she has passed into semifinals, a really good result, considering the fact that she climbs indoor just if it is raining!


Let's start from the base: who is Martina? School, work, passions?

I'm Martina Demmel, a 19 years old passionated rockclimber and skier from the South of Germany. I used to do skiraces since I could walk and I was a lot in the mountains with my parents. But when I turned 16, a friend brought me in our local climbing cellar and I had my first contact with climbing at all. Immediately fell in love with this mix of power, elegance and mental strength as well as the process of projecting. And the addiction for travelling with friends and discouvering new landscapes and cultures is simply so perfect to combine with rockclimbing. I never really liked it to be inside so I'm only climbing on real rock the whole year. I just finished school last year and I'm currently having one (or two) gap year before I'm gonna start my education as a physiotherapist. Hanging out with friends, watching netflix or just being creative by colouring my stuff with old nailpolish f.e. are one of my favourite activities.


Your 2020 score is unbelievable. Did you have the purpose to arrive at "X" route on the 8th grade or just to climb as much as you can?

My goal was/will never to climb a certain amount of routes in a certain grade, it's rather just climbing on lots of different routes and getting a good insight into new areas by climbing most of the classics or kinglines no matter how hard they are. That's why I wouldn't prefer to go only for one hard redpoint without climbing on all the other beautiful routes an area has to offer.


A lot of your ascents are onsight, which is quite strange for a climber of the new millennium. Do you have any secrets? And do you have any advice to give?

 My motivation is also way bigger to always be challenged by new movements and to have the feeling of pure flow while climbing into the unknown during an onsight. This probably helped me a lot for reading new sequences quickly and to find the almost perfect solution directly during the first try. There are no secrets because it just doesn't work out perfectly all the time and everybody also has some bad days but that's what makes you stronger in the end especially mentally.  That's just what motivates me atm but who knows it probably changes in a couple of months or years...;)

Regarding some tips, I'm pretty sure working on the mindset and the active hip mobility is something every climber can profit from and maybe changing the attitude that you don't have enough power for a single move because it often just depends on how you positioning your body and how close you put your hips to the wall to climb more efficiently.


The last one: rock climbing or competitions? Why?

Rockclimbing will always be that for what my heart is beating but as I got the chance to join the national team this year, I'm pretty psyched to see how I can deal with performing on point in a comp. Definitely something special to climb in front of an huge supportive crowd. But outdoors, I really appreciate everything around climbing like sleeping in the van or just on the ground, cooking together, those little approach adventures, travelling and seeing new landscaped and mostly just being able to climb when and wherever I want to. The mix of both is something really motivating but with a higher amount of real rock!

Itw and photo courtesy of Martina Demmel



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